Friday, May 18, 2012

UK Holiday - Part 3 - Across the Great Glen

We spent the night in Inverness, and the morning dawned bright an sunny.  We headed out and walked along the northern shore of the Moray Firth.  Grey Herons were carefully picking their way through the foreshore, with red-breasted Mergansers in the deeper water, but by far the most common bird here was Common Shelduck.




After breakfast we headed down the Great Glen, along the northern edge of Lock Ness.  No monster sightings, but we really enjoyed Urquhart Castle. A little further on, we saw our first Highland Cows, and stopped to look at the very picturesque Oich Bridge.




Our destination was Fort William, and we found our bed and breakfast very easily. The view from the house was spectacular, with the snow capped peaks of Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg and Aonach Mor towering over us. 

Our early morning walk was the coldest yet at -2C, but we ventured along Glen Nevis, and were rewarded with some great views, a very cold looking Highland Cow and a close encounter with a group of Red Deer.





We didn't have far to go today, so we took the opportunity to take a couple of side trips.  Firstly up the "road to the Isles" to Mallaig, and then down into Glen Coe. We stopped at Glenfinnan, the monument to the clansmen who died in the Jacobite Rebellion, and a little further along when I spotted a pair of Black-throated Divers.  Mallaig is a very pretty place, with ferries heading out to Skye, and the "Small Isles" of Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna.  Coming back down the road, we saw many common Buzzards soaring.




Glen Coe is an amazing place for a number of reasons. Geologically, it is a classic U-shaped valley ground out of solid rock by glacial action over millions of years.  It is also the sight of the massacre of the MacDonald clan. As we headed through Glen Coe Pass, I heard the typical "chack" of a Stonechat, and after a few moments soon had him captured in an image.

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